Home / FOOTBALL / WPIAL reveals football conference alignment for 2020, 2021 seasons – TribLIVE

WPIAL reveals football conference alignment for 2020, 2021 seasons – TribLIVE

The WPIAL has witnessed a decline in football attendance, so it took steps Monday to address those concerns.

The board approved an updated conference alignment that keeps the six classification format preferred by 70% of schools, but also attempted to quiet complaints about unwanted travel. To make that happen, the WPIAL created some conferences that are smaller and more geographically friendly, but also promised to provide nonconference opponents closer to home.

“We’re trying to promote football, and the way you promote it is to get people at the games,” said WPIAL associated executive director Amy Scheuneman, who oversaw the football realignment. “People aren’t going to drive two hours to go to a football game. But you might get someone who’s only 10 minutes away to take that drive over. Hopefully, we’ll spark some interest.”

The WPIAL effort included some new ideas.

The football committee has traditionally tried to balance the number of teams in each conference but didn’t take that approach this time. Instead, the WPIAL approved an alignment that, at times, is unbalanced.

In Class 2A, for example, the WPIAL created one eight-team conference, two with six teams and one with seven.

Class 4A also has an unbalanced look.

“Everybody wants to see closer games,” Scheuneman said. “For that to happen, we have to adjust how we make the sections.”

Class 6A has eight teams in one conference. Class 5A, 4A, 3A and A are all divided into three conferences. Class 2A has four.

With only 18 teams, the WPIAL could have reduced Class 5A to two conferences. Likewise, Class 2A could have seen its 27 teams crammed into three nine-team conferences.

The conferences approved Monday were very similar to a sample alignment shown to coaches and school administrators on Jan. 8 during a meeting at North Hills. However, there were a few late changes made by the football committee:

• In Class 4A, Hampton and Mars were shifted away from Beaver County schools and into a conference with traditional rivals from north and east of the city. To make room, the committee moved McKeesport into a conference with Thomas Jefferson, Belle Vernon, West Mifflin and others.

• In Class 3A, the committee switched Keystone Oaks and North Catholic for travel purposes. A similar decision was made in Class A, where Fort Cherry and Bishop Canevin traded spots.

Football schedules will be released by the first week of February. Those schedules will include nonconference opponents handpicked by the WPIAL rather than assigned at random, another decision made to reduce travel.

WPIAL playoff brackets and the number of postseason qualifiers in each classification won’t be decided until after the PIAA reveals updated state playoff brackets.

Monday’s reveal was weeks in the works. The WPIAL presented two realignment proposals to member schools Jan. 8 and asked administrators to vote. More than 70% of responses favored Proposal 1, a plan that maintained six classifications divided by enrollment.

Proposal 2, a more radical approach, would have divided WPIAL teams into 20 conferences by geography. Teams of different enrollment size would have shared the same conference, but a majority of schools rejected that idea.

“A lot of people who voted for (Proposal) 2 said they didn’t mind (Proposal) 1,” Scheuneman said. “(Proposal) 1 was an improvement over previous cycles.”

2020-21 WPIAL football alignment

Class 6A (8 teams)

Section 1

Baldwin

Canon-McMillan

Central Catholic

Hempfield

Mt. Lebanon

North Allegheny

Norwin

Seneca Valley

Class 5A (18 teams)

Section 1

Bethel Park

Moon

Peters Township

South Fayette

Upper St. Clair

West Allegheny

Section 2

Connellsville

Franklin Regional

Gateway

Latrobe

Penn-Trafford

Woodland Hills

Section 3

Fox Chapel

Kiski Area

North Hills

Penn Hills

Pine-Richland

Shaler

Class 4A (22 teams)

Section 1

Aliquippa

Beaver

Blackhawk

Chartiers Valley

Montour

New Castle

Section 2

Armstrong

Greensburg Salem

Hampton

Highlands

Indiana

Knoch

Mars

Plum

Section 3

Belle Vernon

Laurel Highlands

McKeesport

Ringgold

Thomas Jefferson

Trinity

Uniontown

West Mifflin

Class 3A (20 teams)

Section 1

Ambridge

Avonworth

Central Valley

Hopewell

Keystone Oaks

Quaker Valley

Section 2

Burrell

Deer Lakes

Derry

East Allegheny

Freeport

North Catholic

Valley

Section 3

Brownsville

Elizabeth Forward

Mt. Pleasant

South Allegheny

Southmoreland

South Park

Yough

Class 2A (27 teams)

Section 1

Apollo-Ridge

Ligonier Valley

Serra Catholic

Shady Side Academy

Steel Valley

Summit Academy

Section 2

Beaver Falls

Ellwood City

Freedom

Laurel

Mohawk

Neshannock

New Brighton

Riverside

Section 3

Beth-Center

Chartiers-Houston

Charleroi

Frazier

McGuffey

Washington

Waynesburg

Section 4

Brentwood

Carlynton

Seton LaSalle

South Side

Sto-Rox

Western Beaver

Class A (24 teams)

Section 1

Bishop Canevin

Clairton

Greensburg Central Catholic

Imani Christian

Jeannette

Leechburg

Riverview

Springdale

Section 2

Avella

Bentworth

California

Carmichaels

Jefferson-Morgan

Mapletown

Monessen

West Greene

Section 3

Burgettstown

Cornell

Fort Cherry

Northgate

OLSH

Rochester

Shenango

Union

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris via Twitter .

Check Also

A look back at UTEP’s top 10 football wins of the 2010s – El Paso Times

CLOSE UTEP 36, Houston Baptist 34 El Paso Times The first thought many UTEP football …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *